Officials issue urgent health message following botulism outbreak in France

15 September 2023 by
Officials issue urgent health message following botulism outbreak in France

Anyone who has dined at the Tchin Tchin Wine Bar in Bordeaux, which has become the epicentre of a food botulism outbreak, has been urged to contact UK health authorities.

The UK Health Security Agency issued an urgent public health message yesterday (14 September) after the outbreak was traced to home-prepared sardines.

The French authorities have identified at least 29 people who ate the implicated food, which was served to diners between 4 and 10 September, but warned there may be others.

The Times reported a woman has died and at least a dozen people were hospitalised following a meal at Tchin Tchin.

Food botulism, though rare in the UK, is a very severe illness that can result in death if it is not treated early. The intoxication is caused by the indigestion of pre-formed toxins in food or drinks, which tend to occur in airtight containers, such as canned foods and homemade pickles.

The incubation period is typically 12 to 26 hours, but can be as long as seven days. Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhoea, constipation, and neurological symptoms.

Suspected cases should be discussed in and out of hours with the Colindale Duty Doctor via 020 8200 4400 to consider the need for treatment. with botulinum antitoxin (BAT).

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